Posts in Category: Social Issues

Do Not Be Silent!

Prior to World War II. Prior to the annihilation of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazi Regime. Prior to all this there was a law that stated all Jews must register with the government and wear a visible gold star of David. If these Jewish individuals did not register or did not wear their Stars of David they were subject to monetary fines and or imprisonment.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” –Romans 13:1

In 1938 prior to World War II. Prior to the annihilation of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazi Regime. Joseph Goebbels the German Propaganda Minister orders the Storm Troopers (SA) and other Nazi party formations to destroy the homes, businesses, and houses of worship of Jews while fire fighters and police are ordered to stand by and let it happen, it is known as, “The Night of Broken Glass.”

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” –Romans 13:1

Following the Night of Broken Glass, prior to World War II. Prior to the annihilation of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazi Regime—The Nazi state imposes a fine of one billion Reichsmarks ($400,000,000) on the Jewish community in Germany. Jews are ordered to clean up and make repairs after the pogrom. They are barred from collecting insurance for the damages. Instead, the state confiscates payments owed by insurers to Jewish property holders. In the aftermath of the pogrom, Jews are systematically excluded from all areas of public life in Germany.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” –Romans 13:1

Prior to World War II. Prior to the annihilation of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Nazi Regime—Jewish children are banned from entering museums, playgrounds, and public pools. They are also expelled from their schools.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” –Romans 13:1

If scripture was ever used to defend such cruelty would we stand by and be silent?

The United States of America, 2018—About 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the border of Mexico over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Attorney General of The United States of America, Jeff Sessions.

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” –Romans 13:1

One day in the future my Adventist brothers and sisters—

“There will come a time when, because of our advocacy of Bible truth, we shall be treated as traitors.” –Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6 p.394

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” –Romans 13:1

Do not be silent!

Protest

Today 1000’s of young people participated in a #NationalStudentWalkout, including some from Spencerville Adventist Academy, the school of The Spencerville Adventist Church of which I am the Senior Pastor, and the school my three sons attend. I have heard some within our nation agitating for the inappropriateness of this walkout and also that the students should face some level of punishment from their respective schools. I would suspect that most, not all, but most of these appeals come from those that hold a position that is in opposition to the students that walked-out. I do not write this post to discuss my views for or against the issue, you can read some thoughts on that here or here. But I write to encourage everyone, no matter where you stand on the “gun debate” to support the proactive movement these young people are taking. Supporting a young persons passionate expression to the extent it is done in peace, and is not in opposition to a clear “thus saith The Lord” is a good thing. The reason I feel this way is because I experienced that support first hand as a child and have never forgotten it.

Here is my story:

When I was in 4th grade in Loma Linda, CA one of the required classes we were to take was Spanish, in 3rd grade we took German, in 4th grade Spanish. Shortly after the class began that year I began to have some run-ins with the teacher, to the extent that I felt she had begun to call me out unnecessarily and took joy in embarrassing me. I was good at losing my temper, by that point in my life I was already on a first name basis with the office administrators and the school principal. But this time I decided not to go my usual route, instead I decided to attempt something productive

I wrote a petition!

It was a petition of protest against my need to be in that class.

It was only about half a page long, but it clearly laid out my reasons for my belief that this teacher was causing undue harm to my psyche.

When I first took the petition to the office to submit it I learned two things: first a petition needed signatures and secondly a student could not submit a petition unless they had the support and signature of at least one teacher or faculty member.

With that information and without their support they sent me on their way, I would suspect thinking they had effectively squashed this 4th graders protest.

They were wrong!

I immediately began to get signatures…over 100 of them as I remember, mostly from my own grade, but a few of the 5th and 6th grade girls signed it as well as I explained my plight and batted my eyes.

But I still needed a teacher or a faculty member to sign.

Loma Linda was (is) a large for an Adventist school and in the 4th grade there were actually 4 different teachers. We had our primary room and then we would rotate a few subjects between the other three teachers. I can tell you I remember the names of two of those four teachers. Mrs. Sell, my main teacher and Mrs. Smith, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember the other two and I’m coming up completely blank. Could it be I remember those two teachers because out of the 4 they were the two that read my protest and agreed to sign my sheet so that I could turn it in?

Their support had a major impact on me and now 30+ years later I still remember their support and remain grateful.

Looking back on the entire incident from an adult perspective I doubt that they signed my paper out of agreement, but rather to affirm my initiative and willingness to express myself.

Also looking back I believe their support was part of my development as a leader. It was one of the first major “leadership” initiatives I accomplished.

So let us support our children even if we don’t agree on the issue. If The Lord hasn’t called for silence on this issue in His Word and the young people are being peaceful in their protest let us affirm their outcries!

We may just be helping to develop future leaders.

Oh, by the way, they let me drop the Spanish class…go figure a protest really can change things  😉

How Many Deaths Will It Take?

The answer is not in the Wind…but we ignore the answer…

One Tweet Too Far

There have been a lot of tweets that have raised my blood pressure over the last year, but there was one I read today that was one tweet too far and I could not hold my tongue any longer. But no it wasn’t from President Trump, rather it was a tweet about President Trump by a man who is the progeny of one of my Spiritual hero’s.

That a minister of the Gospel would lower the denominator of the Christian faith to a presidential speech because he publicly uses the name of Jesus and because he says, “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays” is beyond repugnant.

Brothers and sisters let me share with you a statement by one of my favorite authors,

“The character is revealed, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts.” -Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 57

A few words in a speech here and there do not qualify as a strong outspoken stand of the Christian faith, it is the consistent actions of ones life. It is the “habitual words and acts.”

Any individual, that consistently refers to other individuals created in the image of God in a derogatory or demeaning manner is not standing strong for the Christian faith, they are undermining the Christian faith.

Any individual that consistently lies or attempts to deceive others is not taking a strong stand for the Christian faith they are undermining the Christian faith.

Any individual that does not see the importance of seeking forgiveness from God or others is not taking a strong stand for the Christian faith, they are undermining the Christian faith.

If Christians want to support President Trump as a politician that is their business between them and Jesus; but please do not try and justify this support by claiming that he is bulwark of the Christian faith. Such statements as the above by “Christian” leaders leave our collective faith looking foolish and our collective witness weakened.

I am not a minister with anywhere near the status of Franklin Graham but to those few non-Christians that read this blog please know there are many of us out there that do not deem what our President is doing as representing or even helping the cause of Christ. There are many of us that know the greatest testimony of Christianity is, “a kind and courteous Christian.” And many of us still desire to see those we hold up as Christian pillars, individuals that live by the scriptures which teach our “speech should always be gracious.” (Colossians 4:6).

I’m LEAVING!

So I am finally going to pull the plug on my Facebook account. I have taken several hiatus’ from Facebook in the past always with the intent of rejoining in two weeks, 30 days, 40 days, whatever the case may be. This leave though is not with the intent of coming back.

It will be hard and I’m not going to give the reasons so many give, miss seeing my friends, easy form of communication, etc.. All those may be true, but the real reason it will be difficult for me is EGO!  Facebook is an ego rush. If you don’t agree then why do we 

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